Studying high-resolution climate records of the past 2000 years has been identified as a high research priority by the IGBP PAGES program (International Geosphere-Biosphere Program Past Global Changes) [Eddy, 1992] as well as by the U.S. Global Change research community [Bradley et al., 1991]. Monsoon Asia, particularly south and southeast Asia, has great potential for expanding our understanding of climatic fluctuations over the past 2 millennia. However, relatively little is known about climatic changes in that area over the last 2000 years. The lack of information is particularly significant because of the area's very large population and its vulnerability to climatic anomalies. At the same time, a real opportunity exists to document climatic changes in monsoon Asia by analyzing a number of types of high-resolution paleoclimatic record.
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